Derek Wolfe has been on a tour of the National Football League.
The Beaver Local and University of Cincinnati graduate recently met with the Pittsburgh Steelers as one of the prospects the team is considering picking in the upcoming NFL Draft.
The Steelers were one of seven teams with which Wolfe has already visited, and more teams are scheduled in the coming weeks.
"I got to see the whole facility," Wolfe told The Review by phone about his visit to Pittsburgh. "I got to meet with the coaches. I grew up a fan of the team with them being so close. I wouldn't say I was a diehard fan, but I've always loved watching their defense. It's obvious they're interested since they brought me in. It was a good experience."
Wolfe, a 6-foot-5, 295-pound defensive lineman, has been drawing the attention of NFL scouts after finishing a stellar collegiate career with the Bearcats that included several All-American honors.
Last month, Wolfe participated in the annual NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Wolfe said he was happy with his performance at the combine.
NOTES: According to Ed Bouchette of the Post Gazette, the Steelers have had six known official visits by college players. In addition to Wolfe they are: Miami Ohio OG Brandon Brooks, Ohio State OT Mike Adams, Florida International WR T.Y. Hilton, Alabama LB Jerrell Harris and West Virginia CB Keith Tandy. The Steelers have the 24th overall pick in this year's draft.
"The whole event was pretty crazy," he said. "There's a lot of interviews and you don't run until the last day. It's a lot of hurry up and wait. But I was pretty happy with my times."
Out of 59 defensive lineman at the combine only one, Syracuse's Chandler Jones, was taller than the 6-5 Wolfe. His 40-yard dash time of 5.01 seconds was seventh best among 23 lineman of 295 pounds or more. Wolfe was also near the top in bench press reps of 225 pounds where he completed 33 reps. Other results included: vertical jump (33.5 inches), broad jump (108 inches), 3-cone drill (7.26 seconds) and 20-yard shuttle (4.44 seconds).
At the Cincinnati pro day on March 2, a total of 28 NFL teams were represented to watch Wolfe along with other Bearcats' prospects including RB Isaiah Pead, QB Zach Collaros, DL John Hughes, LB J.K. Shafer and WR D.J. Woods.
"I didn't do any times," Wolfe said of the pro day. "I didn't run a 40. I just did position drills. There were a bunch of scouts there, but it was a lot more relaxed for me than the combine."
Wolfe mainly played defensive tackle in college, but said his versatility along the line should be a plus to possible NFL suitors.
"I'd probably fit best in a 3-4 defense, but 4-3 teams like me as a defensive end," Wolfe said. "I feel like I'm pretty good at both. It's all football at the end of the day. I've played both, so I'd be comfortable in either."
Wolfe said he will be spending the next week or so back in Florida training at the same location where he prepared for the combine.
The first round of the NFL Draft will be held April 26 and will be broadcast live on ESPN beginning at 8 p.m. The second and third round will be held the following day, also on ESPN, beginning at 7 p.m.
Wolfe said he will return to the local area for the draft which he will watch at the Hoppel's family farm. He said he believes he will be selected in the early rounds.
"It's been a rollercoaster year," Wolfe said. "I'll be home for the draft and just try to relax, sit back and chill."